Starting tomorrow and running through May 8th, Gutai's Splendid Playground will take over the rotunda and walls of the Guggenheim Museum. The centerpiece—"Water," by the late Motonaga Sadamasa—consists of tubes floating above the ground floor, each containing a different colored water. The piece is less jarring than Maurizio Cattelan's 2011 installation, which featured massive objects dangling from above, but just as playful.
"The radically inventive and influential Japanese art collective yielded one of the most important international avant-garde movements to emerge after World War II. Based on fifteen years of research, Gutai: Splendid Playground provides a critical examination of both iconic and lesser-known examples of the collective's dynamic output over its two-decade history and explores the full spectrum of Gutai’s creative production: painting, performance, installation art, sound art, experimental film, kinetic art, light art, and environment art."
This is the first North American museum exhibition devoted to the Gutai group, and features 145 works by 25 artists spanning two generations. The playground will be "organized into six chronological and thematic sections presented along the Guggenheim ramps: Play: An Uninhibited Act; Concept: Can a Piece of Cloth Be a Work of Art?; Network: To Introduce Our Works to the World; The Concrete: The Scream of Matter Itself; Performance Painting: Pictures with Time and Space; and Environment: Gutai Art for the Space Age." There will also be documentary films and stage events; click through for a preview of the show.